A Ship of 16th/17th century



Fluyt Dutch Cargo Vessel
A: Passanger Deck B: Ship Stores and Supplies

      A three-masted, square-rigged merchant ship of the late 16th into the 17th century, built by the Dutch to economically operate carrying the largest cargo and smallest crew possible. It had a wide, box-like hall and a very narrow, high stern. Lightly armed, they were not ideally suited for dealing with pirates and privateers or any other armed conflict. The demensions of a Fluyt Dutch ship were length 100-110 feet overall length with passanger or cargo deck of 80 x 20ft. and rated at 180 tons. This was determined by the ship being able to carry 180 wine casks (tunne)* on the cargo deck.

      The Mayflower being a ship of this type, carried 102 pilgrams to Plymouth in 1620 and the Christian was the ship used to transport the Saltonstall group of 27 headed by Francis Stiles in 1634. Both ships are listed as being Dutch built Fluyt type vessels. The area for passengers was approximately 1600 square feet. The average modern home runs from 1200 to 1500 square feet. The Mayflower carried 102 passangers which allowed about a 4 x 4 area for each passanger. Do you think you could accomadate 102 people in your home for two months without anyone leaving the house. In the case of the Christian there were only 27 passangers allowing an 8 x 8 area for each passanger. Conditions aboard the Christrian were very good compared to the Mayflower The passangers aboard the Christian came through the voyage with very little sickness and were in good spirits when arriving in Dorchester MA. They only remained in Dorchester for a short time, just enough to restock their supplies and water before leaving and sailing from Cape Cod and down the coast and up the Connecticut River.

* Tunne: "He that is a gauger ought to understand that there is in a tunne 60 sesters, and every sester is 4 gallons, be it wine or oil."



The New York Times
Published: February 2, 1921

Extracted from Newspaper Clipping

Gives the Dimensions of Pilgrams’ Ship

Admiral Bowles Finds Mayflower was 90 feet long with beam of 20 feet.

BARNSTABLE, Mass. Feb 1.—The dimensions of the Pilgrims ship Mayflower, as gleaned from records of Lloyd’s of London, were given in an address here tonight by former Rear Admiral Francis T. Bowles as “length 90 feet, beam 20 feet, depth of hold 12 to 14 feet.” He said the figures were obtained after a personal research into Mayflower history in connection with the celebration of the tercentenary of the landing of the Pilgrims. He added that the records gave the Mayflower’s capacity as “100 tuns” which was the unit for measuring Bordeaux wine at the time the Pilgrims said. He said that he was making further inquiries to determine the authority for the figures to determine the authority for the figures, which are regarded as important by those compiling the chronicles of the little vessel’s history voyage to Plymouth.


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